Chameria as a pain and as a dream

When the writer decides to publish a new book, such as the collection of stories “Chameria Flavor” (Aromë Çamërie) of Shefki Hysa, especially when part of the creations were previously published in other books, we must sought the incentives of this step, because surely there must not be only one. Simply having the desire to continually test ourselves in new publishing activity is too little to access to the publication of a new book, more so when you are newly liberated from the nightmare of coming out to the reader, as before a wrenching examination. Because every new edition puts the author before the public trial and should be motivated.
Reprint trials with structure conceptions of different types are very popular, especially in recent years, certainly among the authors who have already established enough and diverse fund of creativity. In the first editions the author achieves or not to organize book as a unique design on a certain level: thematic, conceptual, stylistic or new elements of form. They are pouring foamy images that have managed to be organized in poetic or storyteller structures, with a great message or pain inside that the author can not keep to himself any longer. Emotional trials of first editions must pass, he could conceivably start the preparation for publication as a kind of creation, that is just as important as proper creativity. This is the only criterion that publication does not become an aim in itself.
After the publication of several novels and story books, Shefki Hysa publishes a new book. How motivated this book is, how does it stays, with proper literary value and where is the novelty of this edition?
In the creative process the incentives are of different nature, literary and non-literary. Let’s say at first, those that look like non-literary. It is known the author’s biography, his non-artistic moods under a specific problem related to the Cham community. In general, concerns and obligations arising from such social activism are quite sharp and complicated. As part of a miss thing the Cham’s drama would be like a ghost. Indeed it looks like a love reality, but also concern or dream, as beautiful and overwhelming. Obviously, the Albanians could not otherwise experience the beauty, but in the form of pain or dream before we have in reality.
And, in such cases, his obligation within a national and social problem is to prevail among other incentives of important acts of the individual. But in the case of publication of a book it slightly differs, because the book is neither an individual event nor a close community. It is not even a social-politics plan. Even if it’s so, the true value on the benefit of the community’s cultural goals is measured by some quality that can not be determined or listed simply in the strata of meaning or in the significance ideo-emotional. We can say that is a help when the above values are realized through specific qualities of art: the most artistically realized, the more non-artistic goals widen the circle of influence and diversity of viewpoints.
What are the motives that keep the macro-organisms of Shefki Hysa’s new book? How much do they exceed the reader’s interest that may feel far the discomfort of Cham commune in Albania and abroad. Acknowledging that the author’s creativity, even when it has not been intentionally summarized in function of lectures of that abrasive reality, has had it as a kind of seal, a kind of distinctive emblem, in what is called the thematic and emotional unmistakable originality that is related to Chameria. There are two important qualities that make palatable the author’s publishing of stories in the title “Chameria Flavor” (Aromë Çamërie): the theme of the book, which refers to the Cham’s space and its particularities, which is largely untreated in Albanian literature. Besides Bilal Xhaferri, Namik Mane, Enver Kushi or any other author, this issue, even in literature, has already exceeded provincial limits of recognition, evaluation, and pride. We can also mention a novel of Faik Balanca, that provokes so wonderfully non-forgetfulness of the testament of “The last song of Marko Bocari” (one hundred years after “The last song of Bala” of Dara), even as a lonely cry of a swan, vivid half-legend and half-elegy, testaments still leaking blood and I do not believe that allocated to the messages, from the Cham issue.
In this plane of view can be said that history is brought to art, becoming real phenomenon, with the weight almost unbearable tragic, the portrait of mother who always keeps at bay son’s scalp,with experience of massacre in front of her eyes, with terrible wrath and damnation for foreigners (story “Evidence”).
But not only that. All the characters have two pair of senses: the first pair of watching and enjoying the present and another pair not to forget what they left behind.
As such they have their own typically dialect, have a very special kind of relationship with each other in good and in bad, as sometimes they seem to want at all costs be distinguished from the rest of their compatriots and in the moral qualities of faith, of the sense of justice and humanity. This particular feature of layers seem to affect that they see themselves (perhaps because others see them) a bit like strangers in relation to other citizens of Albania. Of course it gives up then the characters also earn a second quality, that of living simultaneously in two realities: one that actually live and the other, filled with beauties images and Cham’s paradise fragrance. It is a normal consequence of abused ethno-psychology that rebels, the desire brutally pressed that realizes in consciousness in the form of dream, delirium and anxiety. This psychoanalysis appears to reveal the source of that strange tendency, almost necessary, of the confessor for the use of fantastic elements of the tale, Cham’s legend and myths. This preference probably is more important than the choice of the topic and the mention of the name Chameria. It is a way of existence in imagination, a revival way, almost one with the speech and thought as it was a magenta filter. It seems that the story gets from this narration features, such as the type of Kuteli, in which the magic and fantastic of the tale, legend turns to genuine literary subject. We can mention the story “Turtullesha and the devil”, the most typical story in which the character’s features, the idealized rural environment and romantic love returns spontaneously back to the traditions of pastoral life not of every territory but exactly that Cham one intending it as an aesthetics ideal typical of romanticism together with the figure of the devil and the mystery of two youth disappearance. But it is not the only story. Let’s remember “The lake old man” story. There we have the same tendency to make mysterious and misty the portrait of the old man between his clothes with magical quality and half-real, half-magic allusions. This is an interesting way to intrigue the reader even though it doesn’t let the truth to be revealed till the end. But this truth doesn’t have any importance since in agreement with the reader the author achieves to raise sharp social problems as is the relationship between generations and the respect for workers for what he does, not for what he says. The task of literature is not to judge and give solutions, the most it can do is to raise problems. The same quality take the narration in “Elimet” story, the more that Elimi, Cham and Lab mythology creature is personified as authentic exfoliation of the figurative way of the world visualize and your pre-being that reminds the titans of antiquity or the heroes of North epos. In such cases, the today’s characters are placed in reliable positions as a way of thinking, even with skeptical coloration towards the ghosts or those a little bit ridiculous of defeated Elim that needs to be feed by 2 creatures as a fly in front of him. But while the message of not-forgotten and the unknown Cham’s world magic for new generations is given. That world with its nobility has a strong love feeling for the birth place and it seems that stories like that are not simply a part of endless impressions of the childhood but throughout the popular memory. They are addressed not only to new readers of Cham’s community which have Chameria as an aspiration and as a pain and love, like the beauty that has to be worshiped and held in the heart but to all Albanian readers and foreign benevolent to sensitized about the tragic fate of these blessed areas which in the future need to join the motherland, to be conceived with it, as they were forever.

Natasha Lushaj
Literary Critic

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